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Bidding Information
Lot #    14120
Auction End Date    4/25/2006 11:30:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Judenkinder
Author    Melschin [pseud. Petr Iakubovich]
City    Vienna - Leipzig
Publisher    Wiener Verlag
Publication Date    1905
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   99, [1] pp., [5] ff., 169:120 mm., wide margins, light age staining, stamps. A good copy not bound. Rare, WorldCat lists only three libraries worldwide that hold this title.
   A work of fiction.This volume is part of a series entitled: " Bibliothek berühmter Autoren ;; 40" It was translated from the Russian into German by Sonja Wermer. The final 5 leaves are samples from other works of the publishing company.

While the title page lists Melschin as the author, it is the pseudonym of Petr Iakubovich. He was born in Novgorod province in 1860 of impoverished gentry. Iakubovich attended St. Petersburg University, where he graduated in 1882 with a dissertation on Lermontov. His revolutionary poetry enjoyed great success among his fellow students and he befriended, among others, the young and still civic-minded N.M. Minskii and D.S. Merezhkovskii. In 1882 Iakubovich joined Narodnaia volia, an organization that gained notoriety the year before by murdering Tsar Alexander II. He tried to instill new life in the almost defunct movement by organizing a new party, the Young People's Will, which advocated and attempted a program of large-scale "economic" terror directed against leading capitalists. Iakubovich's duties included running a clandestine printing press in Estonia. Denounced by an informant, he was arrested in November, 1884. After three years of pretrial detention in the dungeons of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the St. Petersburg military tribunal sentenced him to be hanged, but shortly before the scheduled execution, the sentence was commuted to eighteen years of forced labor.

Iakubovich spent the following years in Siberia, first under very hard conditions in Kara and the mines of Akatui and later as an exile in Kurgan. IN 1900 he was allowed to return to St. Petersburg but remained under strict police surveillance until 1903. From 1904 on he worked with Korolenko as the literary editor of the populist journal Russkoe bogatstvo. During the 1905 revolution, he was again temporarily detained. Physically weakened and prematurely aged by his years of hardship, Iakubovich died in 1911.

Iakubovich managed not only to continue his literary activities throughout his detention, hard labor and exile, but also to publish his poems, stories and articles. They were smuggled out of prison and appeared anonymously or under various pseudonyms (notably "P.IA" and "Matvei Ramshev" for poetry, "L. Melschin" for prose and "P.F. Grinevich" for literary criticism); sometimes his writings were disguised as fictitious translations from Italian or English.

   Wanner, Adrian. "Populism and romantic agony: a Russian terrorist's discovery of Baudelaire." Slavic Review, Vol 52 (2). (Summer, 1993), pp. 298-317.
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Other:    Austria
Other:    Literature
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica